News Coronavirus Coronavirus: MoH clarifications on special shopping hours for vulnerable

Coronavirus: MoH clarifications on special shopping hours for vulnerable

The Health Ministry late on Saturday issued clarifications regarding a new decree that came into force this morning requiring  supermarkets and pharmacies to cater only for vulnerable groups from 7 am to 10 am.

Under the decree adopted yesterday and applicable from today, supermarkets and pharmacies can only allow three groups of clients to shop between 7 am and 10 am — those belonging to vulnerable groups   (as defined on March 16), those aged 60 and over and the disabled.

The aim is to protect those most vulnerable to the virus from being exposed to large groups of people and also allow them to shop with less pressure. Rules are also in place which prohibit indoor gatherings of more than 75 people and  limit the number of people indoors to one person per eight square metres.

The ministry said it was issuing clarifications because the decree had not been strictly respected and because issues had arisen as regards those entitled to shop up until 10 am on the first day.

  1. People belonging to the groups must be in a position to show an ID/ patient’s card/card of a specific patients’ associations/confirmation/certification of any other proof that demonstrates they belong to a vulnerable group so as to be allowed in
  2. Presentation of such confirmation is considered essential based on the decree and the circumstances by authorised individuals and fulfills the principles of the legal processing of personal data.

The ministry said that this arrangement had been decided after consultations with the chief of police, the personal data protection commissioner and the association of supermarkets.

Earlier today, a representative of the supermarkets association said they were complying with the decree but queried whether they could be breaking personal data laws.

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